The 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle is the progeny of former Carnival architect Joe Farcus, who's known for his glitzy, over-the-top style. Love it or hate it, it’s original, from Frankenstein’s Lab nightclub with its chained, oversized “creature” to the grape-infused purple of the Bacchus Dining Room, to the Alice In Wonderland-inspired Mad Hatter’s Ball.
The Carnival Miracle was introduced in 2004 as part of the Spirit class, and these ships have the most passenger space and best passenger-to-crew ratios in the Carnival fleet. No wonder the Spirit Class blueprint has been adapted and modified for other ships in the company, including for Holland America, Costa, P&O, and Cunard.
After a major refurbishment in 2015, the ship was given some of Carnival's most popular food and entertainment features.
What We Love
Exceptional Value: Carnival provides a lot of bang for your buck with consistent cuisine and upbeat, friendly service at a low price. Choose from several itineraries, including Hawaii or Mexico from Long Beach, and the Caribbean or Panama Canal from Tampa.
Great Food Options: Each venue, from the full-service Bacchus Dining Room to the buffet-style Horatio’s and the for-a-fee Nick and Nora’s steakhouse ($35), exceeds expectations with well-prepared, top-quality dishes. Donʼt miss the Pizzeria with its Neapolitan-style margherita pizza, which is one of the best you'll find at sea.
Best Known For
New Carnival 2.0 Features: After its refit in April 2015, Carnival Miracle has the popular RedFrog Pub (a Caribbean-influenced rum and beer bar/lounge), the Punchliner (a George Lopez-endorsed comedy venue with nightly shows), the Skybox sports bar, the Alchemy Bar (offering designer cocktails), and Hasbro-sponsored game shows in the main showroom. You can also perform for an audience in Lip Sync Battle: Carnival, modeled after the popular TV competition show.
Nonstop Activities: This is a ship with something for everyone, with three pool areas, including one just for adults, one that can be sheltered under a sliding glass dome, and one with an open-air lido. There are also expansive child and teen centers, a large gym and spa, a basketball court, a nine-hole putting course, and a jogging track.
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Who It's Best For
Value-Seeking Families and Party Animals: With all its diversions and relatively low per diems (usually from around $60 to $100 per day), this a great ship for families as well as cruisers who like to party.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
This Ship Gets Loud: Fellow guests can be rather rowdy at times and there are constant promotional announcements.
It’s Not Terribly Polished: This is not an ideal ship for those seeking cultural enrichment, or doting attention. (Then again, you wouldn't expect white-glove service at these prices, would you?)
Peter Knego is a California-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for USA Today.
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Carnival Miracle at a Glance
- Line: Carnival Cruise Line
- Class: Spirit
- Number of Passengers: 2124
- Ship Size: Large
- Launch Date: 2004
- Refurbish Date: 2015